Poetry topic idea: boiling water

Today’s poetry topic idea is boiling water.

A poet could write about why water is boiling (the purpose), how water boils, what boiling water looks like, and other ideas.

Here is an example poem using the idea of boiling water:

is it true
that water that is cold
can boil
if the pressure
is low enough?

Experimental Poetry Form: four columns

Today’s experimental poetry form is called four columns.  It is the same basic notion as yesterday’s experimental poetry form, but instead of three columns, this form has four.  In the form, there are four columns, each with ten lines.  Each column has approximately the same width.  Here is an example poem to illustrate the form:

The man stood
upon the land
looking out
to mountains
and thought that
in their height
and all their size
he saw himself
as there he stood
upon the soil.
The man stood
breathed inside
and felt the air
from all around.
In the moment
what he breathed
he thought inside
was timeless
as in it went
and out again.
The man stood
watching the fire
as all the flames
upon the wood
danced about
and mesmerized
as the smoke
in wisps
drifted away
to the sky.
The man stood
within the sea
and felt the waves
move around
his legs and waist
as he stood
and looked out
before they ended
with a crash
upon the shore.


This poem is about the four elements and pride.  The first column is about earth, the second air, the third fire, and the fourth water.  This notion fits with the four column design.

In each column, the man sees something or himself as great and does not realize his lowness.

Poetry topic idea: water

Today’s poetry topic idea is water.

Water can seem like a basic thing, but it can be complex if a person thinks about it.  There are a number of things about water a person can use in poetry.  Some of them include:

  • The fact that water exists in all three phases (solid, liquid, and gas) under normal conditions. This is different than most other substances.
    A poet could use this idea directly or relate it to other things.  An example might be a poem about a woman who is a wife, mother, and daughter all at the same time.

  • Water is a solvent. Although it may not seem like it, most things dissolve in water if given enough time.
    This idea of dissolving could be used in a number of ways in poetry.  For example, a poet could write about people who work at a dead end job.  They could describe the people as dissolving into the place.

  • Water is fundamental. Virtually every living thing needs water in some capacity to live.  This idea of being fundamental could be used in poetry in a number of ways.  A poet could write about a number of things they perceive as being fundamental.

  • Water is destructive. Water can be destructive in major ways.  Think of floods, storm surge, and storms.  Water can also be subtly destructive.  Think about slow water damage to the structure of a house.
    A poet could write about these ideas directly or they could apply them to other things.
    A poet could apply the idea of major destruction to a life changing situation in someone’s life.  For example, if a person loses their job, all of a sudden their life has been damaged.  A poet could write about this and compare the unemployment to a flood or storm.
    The notion of subtle destruction could be applied to relationships.  Maybe one person causes another person to experience stress.  This stress could build slowly over time with each encounter.  This idea could be compared to the subtle way water damages a structure.

Here is an example poem using the idea of water:

the desert winds blew
so many months with no rain
then he got a job


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Poem with an explanation: now free?

Twenty one steps,
now free?


the piers,
the waves press.

    The dolphins laugh.

and line.

    Fishing poles



This poem is about a person turning twenty one and being legally allowed to drink.  The poem examines the supposed freedom the person has.

In terms of form, this poem uses the form Twenty Words.

The poem has a water theme.  In the poem, a person walks to the water.  The person goes Twenty one steps to get there.  This symbolizes the twenty one years the person has journeyed to get to this point.

The poem then asks the question now free?  In the poem, the person believes they are free.  They are now legally allowed to drink.  They are no longer constrained by a prohibition.  The poem questions this freedom.

The poem tells the person in the poem to Look.  The idea is for the person to open their eyes metaphorically and see reality.  The idea is for the person to see what is really going on around them.

The next two lines indicate what the person should look at.  They say, the piers, the waves press.  First, this continues the water theme.  The person is at the end of a pier and the waves are pressing.  Second, the lines are a play on the words peer pressure.  In this case, the words are represented by piers press.

The idea of these lines is for the person to see the peer pressure around them.  Rather than being free to drink or not, the person is in a situation where their peers expect them to drink.  In some sense, it has transcended expectation, in that expectation is an action.  Their peers simply take it for granted that the person will drink.

The person, while believing they have the freedom of choice, is really in a situation where they are pressured, and expected, to behave in a certain way.  Before they were not allowed to drink; now they are expected to.

The next line of the poem says The dolphins laugh.  In the poem, the person’s peers appear happy, with their drinking and partying, but underneath problems exist.  They are not as happy as they appear.  This is similar to a dolphin, which can look like it is smiling, despite its emotions.

The next lines show the reality.  Although the dolphins are laughing, they are caught.  They are caught by drinking, peer pressure and the effects of both.  Though they are smiling, they are like a fish on a Hook and line.  They are being reeled in by a culture of expected drinking such that the Fishing poles shook.

The idea of the poem is to examine the idea of freedom.  It looks at a situation where a person was prohibited from an action and then that action was allowed.  Although the person might have thought they were entering a situation of choice, where they could choose the action or not, they really entered a situation where the action was expected.  They went from being restricted from not doing something, to being restricted to doing it.  A similar idea could apply to other situations besides drinking.

A photograph to inspire poetry: a water drop on clover

a water drop on clover

Above is a photograph of a water drop on clover.  It can inspire poetry.  Some ideas include poems about:

  • Thirst.  A poet could see the water drop and think of a person in a situation where they had little water.  A poet could write about that person being thirsty.

  • Singularity.  There is one water drop alone on the clover.  A poet could see that and apply the idea to situations in life.  They could write about people who are unique or alone.

  • Precariousness.  The water drop is precarious.  It could easily fall off or evaporate.  A poet could use the idea of precariousness in a poem.

  • Temporary.  This water drop is temporary.  A poet could write about people in temporary conditions.

  • Support.  The clover is supporting the water drop, but water, in part, supports the clover, although in a different sense.  A poet could write about support in a poem.

Post Series: The Dragonfly Series: Artwork to inspire poetry: Dragonfly

Dragonfly artwork

Here is the first of the items in The Dragonfly Series.  It is an artwork for inspiration.  It is of a dragonfly.  It is based off of the photograph to inspire poetry: Dragonfly from the May 28, 2015 post.  This artwork started out as a colored pencil drawing and then was computer altered.

Some poetry inspirations that might come from this artwork include poems relating dragonflies and:

  • light

  • water

  • moonlight

  • disappearance

Here is a poem inspired by the artwork:

upon the water
a glimmering reflection
the dragonfly flew

Bilingual Poem: Water

What do you want?

  Water, please.


  Yes, water.

You have to pay for water.




¿Qué quiere?

  Agua, por favor.


  Sí, aqua.

Tiene pagar por agua.

  ¿Por qué?

Por qué.


P.S. Would you like an opportunity to have a poem published on M. Sakran’s blog?  If so, see the Considerations page for more information.